NSSN 564: Striking workers force more victories

December 6, 2021 in Uncategorized

This week’s NSSN bulletin reports on more cases of workers forcing employers back. Just in the last week, we’ve seen workers win outright victories or at least major concessions at Panasonic in Cardiff, Berkshire hospitals, Sandwell refuse, Royal Parks, Stanlow Oil Refinery, Morrisons, Liverpool Docks and Clarks in Somerset

But as you will see in this bulletin, there are many more workers in dispute. Please keep supporting them. Striking wins!

GMB Sandwell refuse workers strike

GMB Sandwell refuse workers strike

 

Stop victimisation of union reps

Defend Louise Lewis NEU NEC and Huddersfield union rep – (from Huddersfield Examiner) Huddersfield teacher was told she could return to school ‘with her head held high’ – but has now been sacked

Sign petition: Support Tracey Scholes – the 1st female Bus Driver at Queens Road

Donate to the reinstatement campaign of Declan Clune RMT bus driver in Southampton (on behalf of Declan Clune and all RMT Southampton District Bus and Coach Branch members). Email message of support: [email protected]

Support GARY CARNEY, TRAIN OPERATOR – LONDON UNDERGROUND

Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground

Support Tim Breed RMT

Donate to solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep   Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]

Trade union rep victimisation at Woolwich Ferry reaches ‘obscene levels’, says Unite

Unite: Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite repsign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’smodel motion

St Mungo’s: Unite will not tolerate victimisation and bullying

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council

Sacked UCU member wins right to return to work (29 July)

Watch Reel News video: Victimised union reps: Act like it’s you and fight back

Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]

Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon

Watch Reel News video: Huddersfield teachers strike to defend Louise Lewis

Defend NEU Exec member Tracy McGuire. Stop the victimization of Tracy!

Victimised Tesco warehouse USDAW rep fighting for reinstatement

 

Support the NSSN

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]

Watch the NSSN pre-TUC Rally from last September and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

 

Union News

RMT

Night Tube action rock solid (3 Dec) – Strike action rock solid again as Night Tube staffing plans ripping up work life balance. TUBE UNION RMT said that strike action in a fight to stop the ripping up of Night Tube agreements and working arrangements that would wreck the work life balance of drivers, is rock solid again tonight read more

RMT to ballot TFL and LU members (3 Dec) – You may know from media reports and previous communications RMT has sent out to members that your union has been seeking for some time now assurances on a number of matters which could have a huge impact on all members at both London Underground and Transport for London. It is the view of your union that the proposals which have been put forward through various forums and discussions will lead to job cuts and unacceptable casualised working practices. Further, the pension reviews, which was set up by management to attack RMT members’ pension rights, continue to develop proposals that could increase members’ contributions, cut members’ benefits and undermine the security of the scheme going forward. Your Regional Organiser has set out this union’s demands to LU/TfL management read more

RMT on award of Chiltern Railways contract to Arriva (3 Dec) – General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “As rail workers face pay cuts and passengers face fare rises its business as usual for the privatised rail industry who are being handed out multi – year rail contracts with guaranteed profits…” read more

Staff our Stations action across the North East (3 Dec) – RMT launches Staff our Stations action across the North East from Monday in response to threats to station staff and ticket offices in the region. Rail Union RMT is stepping up its Staff our Stations campaign across the North East, with a number of demonstrations at key stations commencing on Monday 6th December at Berwick-upon-Tweed station, followed by Newcastle Central and Durham on the 13th December and Darlington and York on the 15th December read more

Night Tube action goes ahead tomorrow (2 Dec) – RMT says action goes ahead again tomorrow over Night Tube cuts assault on staff work life balance as company snub union offer in latest talks. TUBE UNION RMT has confirmed that strike action goes ahead again by tube drivers tomorrow over the ripping up of existing agreements and working arrangements in advance of the Night Tube reopening which the union says will wreck work life balance by bulldozing through additional night and weekend working. In talks this week RMT negotiators said that they could recommend suspension of the programme of action if LU bosses agreed to step back from their current proposals, halted the demands being placed on drivers and gave themselves space to recruit new, dedicated Night Tube drivers to fill the gaps that have developed since the pandemic began. This union says that LU has refused point blank this week to consider this serious offer and it has become clear the drive from tube bosses is all about cutting costs regardless of the impact on staff and the services they operate. As a result the planned action continues as follows‎;

All train operator and instructor operators working on the Central and Victoria lines are instructed not to book on for any duty commencing:

  • between 20:30 on 3/12/21 and 04:29 on 4/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 4/12/21 and 04:29 on 5/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 10/12/21 and 04:29 on 11/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 11/12/21 and 04:29 on 12/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 17/12/21 and 04:29 on 18/12/21

All train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) are also instructed not to book on for any duty commencing from 04:30 on 18/12/21 to 04:29 19/12/21 read more

To make donations to the hardship fund – account details: account name – Terence O’Neill; sort code: 60-83-71 account number: 89481380 or send cheques to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton St, London NW1 1JD

RMT suspends East Midlands Railway strike (2 Dec) – RMT suspends East Midlands Railway strike action by ‎Senior Conductors ‎ and Train Managers this weekend but warns of further action later this month if dispute isn’t resolved. RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has suspended East Midlands Railway strike action by ‎Senior Conductors ‎ and Train Managers this weekend to allow for talks on new union proposals but has warned of further action later this month if dispute isn’t resolved read more

Serco Caledonian Sleeper bullying culture (2 Dec) – As Scottish Government challenged in parliament today over crisis on the Caledonian Sleeper RMT survey reveals widespread bullying and harassment culture at Serco Caledonian Sleeper. As the Scottish Government was challenged in parliament today over crisis on the Caledonian Sleeper with a call for ministers to take action over bullying and harassment of staff at the Company, a new survey of RMT Caledonian Sleeper members reveals that the majority have felt harassed by management in the course of their work read more

Rail Gourmet staff announce new strike action – RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff announce new strike action in fight for workplace justice. RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley will be going ahead with a new phase of strike action next month, starting on New Year’s Eve, in an on-going fight for respect and justice in the workplace as the company continues to fail to address the abuse and bullying of their staff. Members have been instructed not to book on for shifts as follows;

  • 06.00 hours on Friday 31st December 2021 until 05.59 hours on Monday 3rd January 2022

This latest phase of action follows on from previous rock-solid strikes and has been called because instead of recognising the strength of the genuine grievances the company have chosen to do nothing to address the now long-term dispute read more

Justice for North Sea contract workers – RMT serves notice for strike action in fight for justice for North Sea contract workers. OFFSHORE UNION RMT along with our Trade Union colleagues Unite and GMB have today issued notice of strike action with offshore members employed with North Sea contractors Ponticelli and Semco. RMT members at Semco Maritime and Ponticelli UK Ltd are instructed not to book on for work on the following dates between:

  • 0600 hours on Monday 6th December and 0559 Tuesday 7th December
  • 0600 hours Wednesday 8th December and 0559 Thursday 9th December
  • 0600 hours Friday 10th December and 0559 Saturday 11th December
  • 0600 hours Monday 13th December and 0559 Tuesday 14th December
  • 0600 hours Wednesday 15th December and 0559 Thursday 16th December
  • 0600 hours Friday 17th December and 0559 Saturday 18th December
  • 0600 hours Monday 20th December and 0559 Tuesday 21st December

Additionally, action short of strike in the form of an overtime ban and no higher grade duties will be in place read more

 

TSSA

TSSA slams government rail contract award “immoral” at time of cuts (3 Dec) – Transport union TSSA has today slammed the government for handing out a ‘gold plated’ contract to private operator Arriva to run Chiltern Railways in a continuation of failed privatisation in the railways. The new six-year contract starts on 31 December 2021 and comes at a time when the rail industry is facing service and staffing cuts read more

Avanti Dispute Update: Joint Statement agreed by TSSA, RMT and Avanti (3 Dec) – On Tuesday 30th November and Wednesday 1st December 2021, a meeting was held under the disputes resolution procedure attended by representatives of Avanti West Coast and the joint Trade Unions RMT and TSSA read more

Rail passenger figures must prompt government cuts U-turn (2 Dec) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the government to ‘think again’ over plans for deep cuts to the railways after new official figures showed a dramatic drop in rail travel during the pandemic read more

Give Scottish passengers the Christmas present they need: a rail fares freeze not a fares rise (2 Dec) – Scotland’s four rail unions, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite came together today to urge Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to give Scottish commuters the Christmas present they really need – a fares’ freeze. The call comes as it emerged that Ministers in Westminster delayed an announcement about rail fares increases in March after widespread public discontent over the government’s downgraded plans for rail investment in the north of England. Ticket prices in Scotland could go up by a 3.8% if fares continue to be linked to July’s retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation. The rail unions say that despite asking they have yet to receive any indication of Transport Scotland’s plans read more

Parliament demo says Save London’s Public Transport (1 Dec) – Labour MPs lined up in support of Transport for London (TfL) and transport workers at a major demonstration outside parliament today. Transport unions TSSA, Aslef, RMT, Unite and ITF showed a strong united front jointly organising the ‘Save London’s Public Transport’ demonstration. Held in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, just before one of the biggest set-pieces of the political week – Prime Minister’s Questions – the air rang with chants of ‘save our services’, ‘no to cuts’ and ‘public transport is our transport’ read more

Christmas Cheer for sacked Thomas Cook workers (1 Dec) – Former Thomas Cook workers have received a redundancy payout from Webhelp. TSSA today has confirmed a major victory for redundant former Thomas Cook employees after winning payments worth over £20,000 for five members based in Larbert. TSSA, with their solicitors, Morrish, won a claim against Telecom Service Centres Limited (also known as ‘Webhelp’) on behalf of former employees of the ill-fated Thomas Cook Group who had transferred to new employment with Webhelp when Thomas Cook collapsed. TSSA successfully argued that redundancy payments had been traditionally paid by the former employer, Thomas Cook, on an enhanced basis according to a matrix based on pay and length of service, for over 20 years and that, under TUPE regulations, staff were entitled to redundancy payments on that basis read more

 

Unite

Tesco set for Christmas shortages, after workers offered below inflation pay offer (6 Dec) – Tesco shoppers in many parts of the UK face empty shelves in the run-up to Christmas as members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, announced strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers, who include warehouse and HGV drivers, are based at Tesco’s depots in Antrim, Belfast, Didcot and Doncaster. The strike is a result of Tesco offering the workers just a four per cent pay increase, which is well below the current retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of six per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep Tesco’s shelves filled throughout the pandemic. At the very least the UK’s largest and wealthiest retailer should be making our members a decent pay offer. Unite always prioritises the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and it will be giving its full and total support to our members at Tesco until this dispute is resolved.” The Didcot and Doncaster sites will see an initial 48 hours stoppage beginning at 06:00 on Thursday 16 December. This will be followed by a further five day pre-Christmas stoppage beginning on Monday 20 December. There will be a further a 48 hour stoppage beginning on Thursday 30 December and a three day stoppage beginning on 5 January 2022 at Doncaster and Didcot. Unite members at the Antrim and Belfast Tesco distribution centres will begin an all-out continuous strike from 07:00 on Thursday 16 December read more

Tesco stores in Northern Ireland face empty shelves ahead of Christmas, after workers reject ‘derisory’ pay offer and confirm all-out strike (5 Dec) – Tesco warehouse and HGV drivers based in the Belfast depot and drivers in the Antrim depot will join with colleagues in Didcot and Doncaster in a strike action which poses the likelihood of severe disruption to Tesco supplies across Northern Ireland. The strike is a result of Tesco only being prepared to offer the workers a four per cent pay increase, which is well below the current retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of 6 per cent read more

Third day of industrial action resumes with Unite members in Burke shipping and Foyle port carrying out simultaneous strikes (5 Dec) – Foyle port workers striking to win a cost of living increase and Burke Shipping workers demand pay parity with other dockers in Foyle and across Northern Ireland. Despite all-party council vote in support of striking dock workers employers refuse to resume pay negotiations. Unite confirmed that its members at both Foyle Port and Burke Shipping Service, based in Foyle port, will conduct their second and third days of strike action at the port tomorrow [Monday 6 December] with pickets going up from 7am read more

Unite announces beefed up QC inquiry into blacklisting collusion (5 Dec) – Following a review led by general secretary Sharon Graham, Unite has put in place new measures to search for evidence of collusion with blacklisting in the construction industry by officers of the union and/or its predecessors. A panel of lay members with personal experience of blacklisting will now oversee the gathering of evidence to be fed into an independent QC led inquiry. This panel is made up of Dave Smith, chair of the Blacklist Support Group and the two Unite executive council members for the construction sector – blacklisted electrician Frank Morris and Tony Seaman read more

Prysmian Cables workers to escalate strike action (3 Dec) – Unite members working for Prysmian Cables in Wrexham will escalate their industrial action in their fight for a decent pay rise. Prysmian workers have failed to receive a pay increase since 2019 and have undertaken six days of strike action since 4 November. Two additional 24 hour stoppages are scheduled for the 11 and 17 December. Following a complete failure by the company to engage with Unite, plans are being put in place to undertake continuous industrial action later in the month read more

East Lancashire NHS scientists vote to stage a third 12 week strike (3 Dec) – Blackburn and Burnley biomedical scientists have voted to stage a third strike. The action will begin on 15 December and ends on 8 March in a dispute over unpaid wages. The skilled NHS staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust are owed on average between £8000 and £12,000. Unite has called on the Trust to meet with the union. NHS managers now have a “short window of opportunity” to finally resolve this dispute before Christmas. The Trust only needs to honour the agreement it reached with the workers back in 2019. The scientists have already been on strike in two periods this year, between 31 May and 28 July and between 20 August and 11 November read more

Strike action by Ponticelli/Semco workers in North Sea now inevitable (3 Dec) – Unite the union today (3 December) confirmed that around 300 members working for Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd will take industrial action following a dispute over cuts to terms & conditions. Unite’s Ponticelli UK Ltd members voted overwhelmingly to take strike action by 93.6% on a return of 64.8%, and Semco Maritime Ltd members voted to take strike action by 90.3% on a 61.4% return. An improved offer was put to Unite members last week, but was rejected by 85% on a 80% return. Unite members are now set to take strike action from the 6 December until late February 2022, including a permanent overtime ban, combined with a series of strike days read more

Unite warns that National Accident Helpline is masquerading as friend of construction workers to boost profits (2 Dec) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, is warning building workers not to be duped by a new campaign launched by no win no fee legal company the National Accident Helpline. The new campaign, called Rights on Sites, purports to offer assistance to construction workers when they suffer an injury on site. It fails to mention that by using the services of the National Accident Helpline the injured worker will lose a large slice of their compensation if their claim is successful. The Rights on Sites offer compares poorly with the fact that when Unite takes a personal injury case for a member who is injured at or away from work, the member obtains the service free of charge and receives 100 per cent of the compensation awarded read more

Stagecoach South Yorkshire bus strikes extended in poverty pay dispute, as Unite makes Christmas passenger promise (2 Dec) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has announced further strike dates in the ongoing pay dispute involving bus workers employed by Stagecoach in South Yorkshire. Over 560 bus workers are involved in the dispute, which is a result of Stagecoach making a poverty pay offer of just two per cent to its workers. The current initial week of strike action will end this weekend. Strike action in the Barnsley and Rotherham area will then resume on Saturday 11 December and end on Saturday 19 December. Strikes in the Sheffield area will begin the following day (Sunday 12 December) and continue until Sunday 20 December read more

Unite drivers and assistants taking disabled children to school voted unanimously to strike over Hackney council ‘brush off’ (1 Dec) – Drivers and passenger assistants, who take disabled children to and from school in Hackney, have voted unanimously for strike action over the continuing failure of council bosses to recognise their efforts as key workers during the pandemic. Crunch talks are due to be held between Unite and Hackney council bosses on Tuesday (7 December) over what the union says is the authority’s repeated ‘brush offs’  over attempts to gain recognition for its members’ role as key workers during the continuing Covid crisis. Dates for strike action will depend on the outcome of the forthcoming negotiations. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Prior to next Tuesday’s meeting Unite members have sent a clear message to the council, with their 100 per cent vote for strike action read more

Workers at Springburn based Carntyne Transport balloted for strike action (1 Dec) – Unite Scotland is balloting around 130 cask handlers, heavy goods vehicle (HGV), forklift and shunter drivers employed by Carntyne Transport on strike action in a dispute over pay. The Springburn (Glasgow) based logistics firm, which is part of the Russell Group, employs around 300 workers in total but the strike ballot will cover an area of the business involving around 200 workers. The ballot opens on 1 December and will close on 15 December. The company has a number of clients including Diageo which could be hit by any strike action over the festive period. The strike ballot is in response to Carntyne Transport’s refusal to improve upon its £1.12 increase per hour pay offer, following unprecendented demands for drivers in the industry. The offer would take HGV drivers’ pay to £13.72. The company is also only offering to increase pay for On-Site Logistics (OSL) workers (cask handlers, forklift drivers and shunters) by only 16 pence to £9.96 read more

Essar workers at Stanlow refinery accept revised deal to end strike threat (30 Nov) – The threat of industrial action at the Stanlow oil refinery in Cheshire has ended after members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, accepted a new deal which covers the issues of pay, bonuses and pensions. Over 400 workers had overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action in September, returning a 98.5 per cent yes vote. Once Unite had secured the mandate for industrial action, their employer Essar agreed to return to negotiations and following protracted talks, a comprehensive revised offer was put to members which was accepted, ending the strike threat read more

Unite secures pay award for Lincolnshire and Newark workers at Bakkavor factories (30 Nov) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has secured a pay rise for hundreds of workers employed by Bakkavor at five factories in Lincolnshire. The union was preparing to ballot for industrial action, after the food manufacturer had introduced a £250 extra payment to new starters once they had completed 16 weeks of work, while refusing to make a similar incentive payment to its existing workforce. As a result of Unite’s intent to move towards industrial action Bakkavor returned to negotiations and the union was able to secure permanent pay increases of between one and eight per cent (depending on roles and previous pay rates) for workers at four of the sites: Bakkavor Pizza in Holbeach, Bakkavor Salad in Bourne, Bakkavor Desserts in Newark and Bakkavor Meals in Sutton Bridge read more

Unite leader travels to Scunthorpe to support strike at British steel – I stand with @unitetheunion members at @Actavo_HQ, we will escalate this dispute if needed – @Actavo_HQ and @BritishSteelUK cannot abdicate their responsibilities and must pay the rate. My interview with @RadioHumberside 👇 #JobsPayConditions pic.twitter.com/NVBMjicxMo — Sharon Graham (@UniteSharon) December 1, 2021

This morning I stood with members in dispute at Actavo in Scunthorpe – we cannot allow national agreements to be ignored, both @Actavo_HQ & @BritishSteelUK must pay the rate for the job. We will escalate this dispute to make sure that workers get the rate. #JobsPayConditions pic.twitter.com/NcRxMoQbav — Sharon Graham (@UniteSharon) December 1, 2021 read more

Donate to strike fund:-

Either via bank transfer – sort code: 60-83-01 account number: 20173962, account name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund, reference: Actavo Limited and your branch number

Or by cheque made payable to ‘Unite the Union’ and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Actavo Limited Dispute). Letters of support can be sent to the Regional Office

Unite blasts latest TSB closure proposals as a ‘bitter blow’ for communities and calls for ‘access to cash’ guarantee for elderly and those without bank accounts (30 Nov) – The decision by the TSB to close a further 70 of its branches has renewed calls by Unite the union today (Tuesday 30 November) for the government to step in to ensure that ‘access to  cash’ is readily available to the millions who either don’t have a bank account and/or rely on cash on a daily basis. Unite’s General Secretary Sharon Graham branded the latest retreat by the bank from the high street “a bitter blow.” The long-term trend has seen two thirds of the UK’s bank branches closing in the past 30 years. 4,200 have shut their doors since 2015 read more

Derisory pay offer for Chep workers set to create North West pallet famine – The North West is facing severe pallet shortages in the crucial pre-Christmas period, as workers at Chep UK Limited have announced extensive strike action over pay. Chep UK, which is based in Trafford Park, Manchester, repairs and supplies pallets for supporting and transporting goods to a host of prominent companies including InBev, Heinz, Heineken, A&B Containers, Encric  and TDS. A shortage of pallets will result in deliveries having to be delayed or cancelled. The dispute is a result of the company refusing to improve on a below inflation pay offer of two per cent, despite work booming at the company. This is in reality a severe pay cut as the retail price index (RPI) currently stands at six per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is shocking that Chep, which is enjoying a boom time, thinks it is somehow justifiable to offer its workers a below inflation pay offer which is in reality a severe pay cut. “Chep is clearly more interested in boosting profits than the wellbeing of its workers. Unite is the union which puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first. The union will be giving its full support to its members at Chep until a fair rate of pay is secured.” Workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded over a 75 per cent vote in favour of industrial action. As a consequence the union has called strike action for 3, 6, 10 and 13 December, with an overtime ban also beginning on 3 December. If the dispute is not resolved by Friday 17 December a continuous all out strike will begin read more

DHL workers set for strike action at Bellshill – Unite Scotland has announced that following an unsuccessful meeting with ACAS around 90 DHL drivers and warehouse workers based at the multi-user site in Bellshill will take strike action in a dispute over a pay and working conditions. An initial offer of 9% over two years was rejected because it does not address the ‘poverty pay’ experienced by the majority of the workers who earn £12.50 an hour on average. Following talks with ACAS on Friday (12 November) an improved offer was made to the DHL drivers and warehouse workers but this was also rejected.  88% voting to reject the offer in a ballot turnout of 95%. Unite has been engaged in negotiations with DHL through the auspices of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), and will meet again tomorrow (Thursday 18 November) in a bid to reach an agreement. Unite members are also in dispute with DHL over the failure to look at improving the working hours of drivers, and their wider terms and conditions. The trade union has repeatedly highlighted its concerns over the increase in the working hours of logistics and HGV drivers across the UK, driver shortages, and the need for better wages and conditions across the industry read more

Woolwich Ferry workers vote to strike over Transport for London’s ‘year of misrule’ – Commuters using the Woolwich Ferry face a festive season of travel disruption as workers vote to strike after nearly ‘a year of misrule’ by Transport for London (TfL) bosses. Unite the union said the troubled ferry operation has been plagued by poor employment relations for years, first with the previous operator Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd and now with TfL which has led to more than 30 days of strike action during 2021. Unite represents the 58 ferry workers who have again voted for strike action with a 90 per cent  majority – strike dates are expected to be announced very soon which will cause travel chaos over the Christmas and New Year periods. Besides the victimisation of two Unite reps, there has also been a failure to agree a new pay and reward scheme; the excessive use of agency staff; and the failure to provide adequate health and safety training to new employees – these are issues which have arisen since TfL took back control from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year read more

RNAD Coulport nuclear naval base workers to start overtime ban this week – Unite Scotland has today (15 Nov) confirmed that around 70 of its members who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines will start an overtime from Tuesday (16 November) at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport. Unite has severely criticised the ‘delay tactics’ employed by the ABL Alliance following 90.5% of its members at RNAD Coulport voting ‘yes’ in support of strike action, and 95.3% supporting action short of a strike. To date, the ABL Alliance employers have refused to meet the RPI inflation pay claim (3.8% – July) made by Unite. The workers involved in the dispute provide care and maintenance services for the weapons systems on the Royal Navy nuclear armed submarine fleet. It is understood that due to the specialist nature of the services provided that even an overtime ban could potentially ‘cripple’ the effective running of operations at the naval bases. The ABL Alliance was awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide services for the weapon system at Coulport, as well as the Strategic Weapon Support Building (SWSB) Faslane. The Unite membership involved in the dispute are employed by three separate employers: AWE plc, Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd, and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems Ltd. AWE workers are involved mainly in the maintenance side of the weapon system operation, whereas the Lockheed Martin workers are responsible for specialist engineering and quality control. Babcock workers provide the Jetty Services at RNAD Coulport read more

Unite blasts Weetabix claims ‘fire and rehire’ tactics irrelevant to current dispute – Unite general secretary says the union has “irrefutable evidence” that Weetabix is using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics to attack the wages and conditions of Unite engineers, including the threat of sackings. Unite engineers at Weetabix factories in Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire are currently taking strike action four days a week against company moves to attack their wages and terms and conditions. The union estimates this could cost some engineers a loss of wages amounting to £5,000 a year. This despite the fact that last year Weetabix turnover grew by 5 per cent to £325 million and profits leapt by almost 20 per cent to £82 million read more

Glen Dimplex in Portadown must end cycle of poverty pay by offering workers a decent pay rise – Unite has made a counter-offer to management to end debilitating strike and awaits management response. First day of strike action at home heater manufacturer resulted in a collapse in production. Two more strike days to follow. Nine out of ten Glen Dimplex workers voted yesterday evening to reject a last minute pay offer by management. A vote which matched the strength of the previous ballot for strike action [96 percent for strike action]. Workers’ anger at the way they have been treated is growing day by day. Workers’ pickets went up at 6am at the gates of Glen Dimplex and production at the site has collapsed as production workers joined the action. That produced a collapse in production which can only get worse as the strike action continues read more

DIYers braced for nationwide B&Q store shortages after Wincanton causes warehouse strikes – DIYers across the country are braced for B&Q store shortages during warehouse strikes caused by union-busting and a below inflation pay offer at logistics firm Wincanton. More than 400 Wincanton staff, who work at B&Q’s Worksop distribution centre, which distributes stock nationally, will begin strike action later this month over the victimisation of union reps and pay. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Wincanton’s union-busting and below inflation pay offer means that you won’t be able to do it if you B&Q it because the Worksop distribution centre will be at a standstill. “Unite is entirely dedicated to improving the pay, terms and conditions of our members. Crucial to this is the union’s amazing network of dedicated reps. Attempts to victimise them will not be tolerated ever.” Unite accused Wincanton of taking out unjustified disciplinaries against the union’s reps at the Worksop distribution centre, as well as reducing facility time to prevent the reps carrying out their trade union duties. Wincanton made profits of £47.2 million during 2020 and has performed well throughout 2021. Unite said its Worksop depot members expect a pay rise that reflects the rising cost of living after working throughout the pandemic to keep the business healthy. Two weekly cycles consisting of seven days of all out strike action followed by a seven-day overtime ban will begin on 28 November and continue until 20 February read more

St Mungos: still threatening worker who called out bullying – Damaging publicity – St Mungos executives have shown no willingness to address staff concerns about bullying and are pressing ahead with gross misconduct charges against a rep who raised concerns about bullying by senior managers; the key charge remains that senior managers are distressed at this suggestion. Email the Unite Housing Workers LE/1111 branch for info: [email protected]

Updates available here: http://www.housingworkers.org.uk/

The detailed account written by Unite Regional Officer Steve O Donnell is here

DHL Supply Chain operating at Spirit AeroSystems served with notice of strike action commencing next week after unanimous vote by workforce – Unite the union warns strike will impact all aspects of Spirit AeroSystems production in Northern Ireland as DHL workforce handles every part from the rivets to the wings. After an industrial ballot returned a 100 percent vote for strike action at DHL Supply Chain at Spirit AeroSystems, Unite has today (1 Nov) served notice on the company that it will commence strike action starting with a first, five-day stoppage next week read more

Evonik workers at historic Manchester chemicals site strike over pay – Evonik workers at a 130-year-old Manchester chemicals site are to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 13 October). Around 25 production and warehouse operatives at Evonik’s Clayton site, which has been a chemical plant since 1892, are taking industrial action after rejecting a 1.5 per cent pay offer read more

Unite members at Goodfish to strike over 2 year pay freeze – Unite members working for Goodfish at their St Asaph site in North Wales will tomorrow take industrial action over a 2 year pay freeze imposed on them by their employer. Goodfish employs over 50 people at the plant which produces PVC mouldings. The company took over the site from Honeywell in 2019 read more

Unite members back strike action at University of Dundee over ‘pension poverty’ proposals – Unite Scotland can confirm today that its members at the University of Dundee have voted to support strike action in a dispute over workers being plunged into ‘pension poverty’. Unite’s members at the university supported taking strike action by 78 per cent in a ballot turnout of 67 per cent. Unite can also confirm that its members will now be on strike from 25 October 2021. The University of Dundee propose to replace the existing Defined Benefit Pension Scheme with a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme for those on the lowest grades (i.e., grades 1-6). Workers in grades 7 and above will have their pensions protected through the existing UK wide Superannuation Scheme, which has a Defined Benefits element. The pension proposals will mean that a clerical worker on a lower grade could lose up to 50% of their pension across the expected term of retirement. This could result in an amount of up to £150,000. The trade union also estimates that around 70 per cent of its members in the existing Superannuation Scheme are female read more

Workers at Wolverhampton lock makers Henry Squire to strike over pay – Workers at the historic lock makers Henry Squire and Sons, based in Featherstone, Wolverhampton, will begin strike action next month in a dispute over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 September). The workers, who are members of Unite, were due to receive a pay increase in January but management refused to make an offer. Instead they have offered a 2.5 per cent increase for the period from July to December, which in real terms is worth just 1.25 per cent for the entire year. The derisory offer is a significant real terms pay cut with the RPI inflation rate currently standing at 4.8 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers at Henry Squire are long due a decent pay rise. The current July to December offer for 2021, is a pay cut in real terms. Understandably that has not been accepted by union members. It’s simple Henry Squire can avoid industrial action by Unite members. How? By making a decent wages offer.” The first week long strike action will begin on Monday 4 October and there are similar week long periods of industrial actions scheduled to begin on Monday 25 October, 15 November and 6 December read more

DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying – After 90.9 percent strike vote, workforce pickets to be deployed at Woodburn DfI Roads in Derry/Londonderry during twenty-four strike, which starts midnight on Thursday, July 22rd. Road Service workers’ union Unite warns first twenty-four hour stoppage at Woodburn likely to escalate in absence of Ministerial intervention read more

Support striking Reading hospital security guards – Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991   Sort Code: 60-83-01.  Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on

 

PCS

HMPPS reps vote to campaign on pay and to consult members over industrial action (3 Dec) – On 1 December PCS reps and advocates in HMPPS met to consider our next steps on pay. The pay offer means that anyone earning under £24,000 will receive a below-inflation £250 increase and anybody earning above this will essentially not receive a pay award. This comes at a time when our members have provided an essential service during the most challenging of years, when many other sectors have been able to work from home read more

Cleaners unite: join our meeting to discuss the issues important to you (2 Dec) – If you are a PCS member and work as a cleaner, join the Cleaners United Meeting on Saturday 11 December, 12-1.30pm on Zoom. PCS is part of a coalition of trade unions and campaign groups working together to achieve national change across the cleaning industry. Cleaners endure some of the worse working conditions of any worker in the UK. From low wages, to no sick pay, to discrimination and sexual harassment, to unmanageable workloads and no collective voice through trade union recognition. The campaign is a three-year, bottom-up campaign where cleaners will be central to identifying the issues to campaign on and will be instrumental in leading the direction of the campaign. There is a meeting on Saturday 11 December from 12-1.30pm on Zoom read more

PCS raises concerns with DVLA over omicron variant and rising Covid cases (2 Dec) – PCS has written to the DVLA amid growing concerns about Covid cases on site and developments in the pandemic. In the email to DVLA HR and estates director Louise White and senior HR business partner Helen B Davies, we raise concerns about the prospect of a more infectious and vaccine-resistant strain – omicron – and its impacts on the health of DVLA staff. We have asked them for details of the precautionary measures that the department is taking to secure the safety of DVLA staff read more

HMCTS members vote to support industrial action over unsafe Common Platform (2 Dec) – Hundreds of HMCTS members have said in a consultative ballot that they would support strike action over the continued use of the fundamentally flawed Common Platform digital case management system. 96.3% of members who voted said they would support strike action if HM Courts and Tribunals Services fails to act reasonably and meet our achievable demands. The turnout was 57.2%. We will write to senior HMCTS representatives, sharing the results and seeking an urgent meeting on our demands read more

PCS defends safe working in Defence (2 Dec) – PCS and defence trade unions act to defend defence advice notice 15 (DAN 15). We are concerned that the employer is making attempts to undermine the safety precautions laid out in the current and extant DAN 15 that has been agreed with your trade union read more

Problems with MyHR introduction in Defence (2 Dec) – The expensive new system will not be used until the new year and holds potential problems for all staff not working standard hours read more

PCS wins for Royal Parks cleaners (2 Dec) – Cleaners at the Royal Parks working for Just Ask estate services have voted to accept the latest offer from management. With members increasing the pressure on Just Ask through a month-log strike action, Royal Parks and Just Ask agreed a significant increase to members’ terms and conditions to end the dispute. Our members received unwavering support from the labour movement, including MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn and Labour councillors Georgia Gould and Danny Thorpe read more

Royal Parks rep: ‘We’re all celebrating this victory’

PCS blasts DCMS for mask mandate rules (30 Nov) – PCS has written to DCMS  condemning the newest guidance on mask wearing as being unclear, inconsistent and illogical, leaving members at increased risk of Covid infection and abuse from visitors. After the UK government’s announcement on 28 November that mask wearing would again become mandatory in many indoor spaces in the UK, PCS wrote to DCMS seeking clarity on what this meant for indoor heritage and culture spaces. We were clear in our expectations to ensure staff safety, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, that masks should be mandatory across the sector. While there was some rationale given for exempting hospitality settings, none of these applied to culture spaces. Disappointingly DCMS responded on 30 November saying that mask wearing would “Only be mandatory in shops inside venues, and not in the remaining spaces”. It seems in the government’s view, Covid is only contagious in settings where you can spend money! Inconsistent rules, lack of clarity and lack of any sensible rationale for rules leaves PCS members at increased risk, and entirely unable to enforce rules read more

DVSA: ‘Our ballot result stopped management in their tracks’ (30 Nov) – DVSA rep Caroline Oliver speaks to Activate about their successful campaign to see off plans to impose an increase in the number of daily driving tests. DVSA members organised themselves to successfully see off plans to impose an increase in the number of driving tests they were expected to conduct daily. A huge vote for strike action, with a turnout of 80%, brought management to the table and a deal was struck that members supported in a ballot read more

 

GMB

Panasonic strike suspended after ‘big win’ for members (3 Dec) – Industrial action at Panasonic Cardiff has been suspended after the company put forward a new two year pay deal amounting to a ‘big win’ for GMB members. The electrical giant has offered workers a pay rise of up to 5.5% and a £300 annual bonus. GMB will now ballot members on 9 December asking them if they want to accept the offer. Workers had already held three strike days, with more planned, at the electronics giant’s Cardiff plant after the company revealed plans to impose a pay freeze on them for the second year running read more

People’s Covid Enquiry: Govt must take responsibility for excess deaths (1 Dec) – GMB Union has called on the Government to take responsibility for thousands of needless covid deaths as the People’s Covid Enquiry report launch takes place today read more

Berkshire hospitals strike called off after ‘massive victory’ (1 Dec) – GMB Union has cancelled strike action across four Berkshire hospitals in a massive victory that protects members’ original NHS contracts, bandings and pay. The union had issued notices to NHS Property Services (NHSPS) for five days of strike action week commencing 29 November at four sites across Berkshire. All four were Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust Hospital sites where facilities management services had been outsourced to NHSPS, after recent privatisation. GMB members have voted to revoke strike action following a new offer from NHSPS, along with guarantees around pay bandings read more

Serco Sandwell strike ends in ‘stunning’ victory for workers and public (1 Dec) – The long-running strike at Serco Sandwell involving more than 130 refuse workers has ended after the firm committed to cleaning up its public Household Recycling Centre. More than 90 per cent of worker voted to accept the firm’s offer to make the Shidas Lane site safe. The deal also included a pay rise and moving many agency workers onto permanent contracts. Serco has assured workers bullying and harassment will not be tolerated in any form and will be dealt with in a timely manner read more

NHS pay ‘no new money’ letter leaves bitter taste (30 Nov) – GMB Union says today’s NHS PRB remit letter – revealing that the Government has allocated no new money for health workers in England – will leave a bitter taste read more

GMB Strike Ballot for NHS and Ambulance Workers Across Southern England Opens Today – Until this Government makes a serious attempt to engage, the only choice is progress with the GMB Union’s industrial action ballot. GMB Union’s strike ballot for NHS and Ambulance workers across southern England opens today [10 November 2021]. The vote comes after GMB members overwhelmingly rejected the Government’s imposition of a below inflation 3% pay award – which amounts to another real terms pay cut. Members in 55 NHS trusts across the south of England will be balloted, with the vote closing on 15 December. A positive strike vote could lead to a new year walk out of GMB’s front line nursing, ambulance, and support services staff across the whole of the NHS in the South East, South London, Dorset and Wiltshire. GMB has been campaigning for a restorative increase of 15%, or £2 per hour – whichever is highest -to replace what has been lost from NHS pay packets over the last decade. The union was the only one to reject the last NHS pay deal in 2018 read more

Doosan Babcock workers to strike over ‘worthless’ offer – Dozens of members at Doosan Babcock in Tipton voted this Monday to strike over a ‘worthless’ offer from the construction engineering firm. More than 90 per cent of staff voted for the strike, which will take place on November 2 and 3 from 8am to 12 noon read more

University of the Arts London Cleaners demand equal treatment after five day strike – GMB, the union for higher education, is demanding members who work as cleaners within the University of the Arts London are offered pay parity with workers directly employed by the university. Bouygues, who directly employ the cleaners, do so on a contract which offers the workers inferior pay, terms and conditions than their colleagues – cleaners have just completed five days of industrial action in protest read more Follow @GMBSLU on Twitter

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council   GMB pulls funding for Labour Party in London after grieving caretaker sacked

 

Unison

NEC hears how UNISON is preparing for a winter of action (1 Dec) – The union is fighting across multiple sectors for members’ pay and conditions, with strike ballots and consultations. UNISON is accelerating preparations for a winter of disputes, member consultation and industrial action as the union continues to fight for members’ pay and terms and conditions across most sectors read more

Council and school workers deserve much more than below-inflation pay offer as strike ballot begins (1 Dec) – Recommendation is to vote yes to strike action. UNISON will today (Wednesday) begin to ballot more than a third of a million council and school staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for strike action over their “inadequate” pay offer. The union is recommending employees – including refuse collectors, teaching assistants and social workers – vote ‘yes’ to strike action read more

Government must not dither and delay again over pay, says UNISON (1 Dec) – A properly funded pay award will help the NHS withstand present and future pressures. Responding to the commencement today (Tuesday) of the next consultation on health workers pay by the NHS Pay Review Body, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “Staff are facing what could be the worst winter ever. The patient backlog continues to rise, staffing shortages are worsening by the minute, and now there’s uncertainty over the impact of the Omicron variant…” read more

New COVID-19 variant: updated guidance does not go far enough, says UNISON (30 Nov) – The union is calling on the Westminster government to urgently introduce additional measures to protect pupils and staff in all schools read more

 

Pension talks to resume at Dundee University as strike action pays off – After three weeks of strike action showing ‘great industrial strength’, members accept new proposals to continue negotiations. Following prolonged strike action by members of UNISON, Unite and the UCU, the joint trade unions have today struck a deal with the University of Dundee that will allow pension talks to resume. UNISON members have been on strike for three weeks, with the final three days of strike action being withdrawn read more

11 things you need to know about council and school pay – If you work in in a council or school, your voting papers will be mailed to you in December, with a freepost envelope. Local government members working in councils and schools are balloting for strike action. But why? What has happened? And what’s next? Here is everything you need to know about council and school pay… If you work in a council or school, you’ll receive an important letter and your voting papers through the post from 1 December. Keep your eyes peeled! Every member must return their vote in the free post envelope by 14 January. Your vote is vital

Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick to strike over jobs move to private firm – Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick will strike over a jobs move to a private firm. Some Unison members of the IT departments at both South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust have voted for strike action read more from Coventry Live

 

RCN

NHS pay in England and Wales: results of indicative ballots on industrial action announced (2 Dec) – Eligible RCN members have voted on what action they’d be willing to take in our fight for fair pay read more

RCN responds to government remit letter to NHS pay review body (30 Nov) – College blasts more delays to pay increases for nursing staff as Health Secretary formally starts 2022/23 pay round for those on Agenda for Change contracts in England read more

RCN Northern Ireland responds to HSC pay announcement (30 Nov) – Health Minister Robin Swann has announced he will implement a 3% pay award for HSC staff which will be backdated to 1 April 2021 read more

 

NIPSA

NIPSA Members employed as Education Welfare Officers announce 15 days of Strike Action – NIPSA, the largest union from the non-teaching workforce in Education, announces that members employed as Education Welfare Officers will embark on 15 days of strike action commencing on 29 November. This is part of their campaign for pay parity with Health and Social Care Trust colleagues read more

NHS Pay Announcement (1 Dec) – The NIPSA Health and Central Panel strongly condemns the announcement by Robin Swann, Minister for Health indicating he is implementing a 3% pay rise to NHS staff in Northern Ireland as recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body read more

 

FBU

13 minute response time death after cut to Surrey station (Nov 30) – The FBU has raised questions over the death of an elderly man in a Surrey house fire last week, after the first fire engine took 13 minutes to arrive. A nearby fire station had recently been moved to daytime-only cover, meaning that the fire engine likely took “substantially” longer to arrive than it otherwise would have. Local Fire Brigades Union officials have estimated this potential difference at around four minutes longer read more

 

POA

Message from General Secretary to Operational Support Grades (OSGs) (3 Dec) – Further to POA Circular 98/2021 which outlines the indicative ballot timetable and why we are consulting with our OSG members in relation to pay and whether you wish to consider industrial action up to and including strike action. The indicative ballot is important to gauge the feelings of our OSG members.  The NEC simply want you to inform us if you would support the option of action or not. OSGs are valued members of the POA, and it would be quite wrong of the NEC if we did not seek your views on the important issue of your pay and what you want to do about your pay being effectively cut because of the rising cost of inflation and take-home pay diminishing simply because of increased costs such as petrol, food, increases to national insurance and energy prices. The POA have a history of seeking the views of our OSG members through the ballot process and if we get a positive indication for those members affected through this ballot then the NEC will consider those views and action them accordingly through a strategy that will be communicated to the membership. This ballot is at the heart of democracy, and it is important that the views of OSGs are heard loud and clear, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of the workplace ballot and in particular the strength of feeling read more

 

NEU

Defend Louise Lewis NEU NEC and Huddersfield union rep – (from Huddersfield Examiner) Huddersfield teacher was told she could return to school ‘with her head held high’ – but has now been sacked – Louise Lewis was told in May she could have her job back but it was not to be

Please sign and share the petition to support the Oaks Park, Redbridge strikers: https://www.change.org/p/redbridge-council-end-the-culture-of-bullying-at-oaks-park-high-school

Support the following NEU strike action:-

Abbot’s Hill School / Herts

(TPS)

9 December [email protected]

[email protected]

Colfe’s School / Greenwich

(TPS)

8-9 December [email protected]
Newham Sixth Form / Newham

(Transfer of Employer)

8-9 December [email protected]
St Matthew’s C of E Primary School / Preston

(Transfer of employer)

7-9 December [email protected]

 

NASUWT

Gateshead teachers begin 19 days of strike action – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Furrowfield School are taking 18 days of strike action over adverse management practices which are impacting on members at the Gateshead school. Members have been subjected to poor management practices which are impacting on their health, safety and wellbeing. They have faced what they believe are intimadatory and bullying practices and attempts to undermine their employment entitlements. There have been significant issues at the school for a long period, with members taking strike action earlier this year at the school read more

 

EIS

EIS Opens Industrial Action Ballot for Members in Higher Education – The EIS has opened a statutory industrial action ballot for its members in the Higher Education Sector. Members of the EIS University Lecturers’ Association (EIS-ULA) are being asked to support a programme of industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a long-running dispute over pay. The dispute follows protracted negotiations at New JNCHES, the UK-wide negotiating body for pay in the Higher Education sector. Following the breakdown of negotiations, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) broke the principle of negotiating pay and imposed an offer that, for most EIS members (academic staff), amounts to a 1.5%. pay uplift. The imposition of a sub-inflation pay offer, a real-terms pay cut, is not a new action on the part of UCEA, as they previously followed a similar course of action in 2019 read more

 

UCU

Huge numbers of staff and students on campus picket lines up and down the country (1 Dec) – University staff on the ground have reported huge numbers of staff and supportive students joining picket lines. Around 50,000 staff at 58 universities across the UK have a mandate to take industrial action over pensions, pay and working conditions read more

University strikes begin after bosses refuse to budge on pensions, pay & working conditions (1 Dec) – Three consecutive days of strike action hit 58 universities today after university bosses and their representatives refused to withdraw pension cuts or address falling pay and worsening working conditions read more

Government reforms to teacher training will ‘narrow student choice’, union says (1 Dec) – UCU has today called on the government to think again on its plans to reform teacher training, which it says could narrow student choice and place undue burdens on providers read more

Support Goldsmiths strike by:

* Raising this motion of solidarity with your Trade Union branch or branch of political party (except for the Tories, obviously, as this is the realisation of their dream: austerity in action). https://goldsmithsucu.org/…/10/19/gucu-strike-fund-motion/

**Donating as much (or as little) as you can afford to the Goldsmiths Strike Fund. Hourly-paid lecturers and tutors on precarious contracts will obviously be prioritised for funds. https://goldsmithsucu.org/donations/strikefund/

***If you are in London, please join us on the picket lines. The strike starts on Tuesday 23rd November and will go until Monday 13th December (unless the Warden, Frances Corner, and her Senior Management Team see sense and agree to stop their reckless plans).

We have managed to gain some concessions in our fight, but our struggle continues. We demand zero redundancies and that this neoliberal assault on education is destroyed at root read more. Follow @GoldsmithsUCU on twitter

Support the UCU Royal College of Art strike in fight against casualization – follow the strike on UCU Royal College of Art website and on twitter – @RcaUcu. Donate to the strike fund details here

 

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.

 

NUJ

Reporters should not be denied video access to courts (3 Dec) – The NUJ has written to judges serving the North east circuit courts, over a decision which appears to be preventing reporters having video access to proceedings read more

 

Prospect

New restrictions must prompt more support for aviation workers (5 Dec) – Prospect has responded to news that both the UK and countries overseas have put in place further restrictions on travel, something which will undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on our members read more

Natural England staff vote for industrial action over poverty pay – Natural England staff in Prospect Union have voted to take industrial action over pay thanks to years of decreasing budgets, increased workloads and stagnating wages. 76% voted in favour of a strike with 84.7% voting in favour of action short of strike. The regulatory threshold was cleared. Industrial action is planned to commence on 4 January 2022 with action short of strike. If no progress is made then strike action will be taken read more

 

Equity

Court of Appeal rules SEISS scheme discriminated against new mothers (30 Nov) – Last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that the calculation of the self-employed income support scheme (“SEISS”) indirectly discriminated against new mothers. This is an important decision and recognises the discrimination experienced by many new mothers, including creatives and Equity members. The Court of Appeal did, however, maintain that the urgency with which civil servants acted at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic justified the discrimination. While Equity strongly disputes any justification for discrimination, we are proud to have supported and helped fund the early stages of the case, which was brought by Pregnant Then Screwed. Sadly, as the Court of Appeal ruled that the discrimination was justified, impacted women will not receive an automatic rebate. But Pregnant Then Screwed are continuing to call on Rishi Sunak to acknowledge the discrimination and take decisive action to rectify the issue read more

Sign the petition to save Stratford Circus! https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus

 

USDAW

Usdaw launches industrial action ballots at nine Tesco distribution centres in disputes over pay) – Usdaw has today started two formal industrial action ballots covering nine Tesco Distribution sites after members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s latest offers. The two disputes involve nine Tesco distribution centres at: Daventry, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor (both trunk and main site), Peterborough and Southampton. The ballots will run between 22 November and 6 December. If members vote in favour it is intended that, unless the company makes an improved offer, strike action will take place in the week of 20 December read more

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep fighting for reinstatement read more

 

Community

Fire-and-rehire defeated at Clarks (1 Dec) – An agreement has been reached between the trade union Community and the shoe manufacturer Clarks, ending the industrial action that has taken place over the last two months. The agreement sees the pay of workers protected after previous threats of reduction read more

 

UVW

Support the strike at Great Ormond Street Hospital Dec 6-9 with a family friendly rally on 7 Dec from 12.30pm-2.30pm

UVW calls on charity to avert strike and live up to their mission statement – United Voices of the World (UVW) has called on the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity CEO Louise Parkes to help avert a strike at the hospital by living up to their mission statement. Outsourced security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) are set to take strike action in early December, as they are currently on worse terms & conditions than other NHS workers. Giving the security guards, who are predominantly Black and brown migrant workers, inferior contracts, is an example of structural racism. UVW has called on the GOSH Charity, who are the biggest donor to the hospital, to intervene in the strike and call on the hospital to bring the security guards in-house on the same contracts as other NHS workers read more

UVW condemns racist tropes and union busting attempt by Great Ormond Street Hospital contractor (2 Dec) – UVW members, security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), have received a shocking letter from Carlisle Support services suggesting their lawful strike action could turn violent and abusive potentially leading to arrest and prosecution read more

Harrods restaurant workers pre-strike PROTEST – Saturday 18th December Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL. Harrods pays its restaurant workers poverty wages, often over 20% below even the London Living Wage of £11.05 per hour which itself is not a huge wage. The waiters and chefs at Harrods have had enough and are now demanding £12 an hour. Working in the most luxurious department store in the world owned by the richest family in the world – the Qatari Royal Family – £12 an hour is fair and affordable for Harrods. The workers are currently balloting to strike and intend to walk out in the days before Christmas. We want to send Harrods a strong message that when they do they will be met with lots of solidarity. So come and show that solidarity on Saturday 18th December at 1pm and make our voices heard that POVERTY PAY IS NOT OK! Facebook event

 

IWGB

Lockwood workers take action against unlawful redundancy (3 Dec) – Dozens of workers at Lockwood Publishing are taking collective action to defend themselves against an unlawful massive redundancy, and help build a better workplace for them and their colleagues. After weeks of negotiations, meetings, and attempting to work with the upper management and all of the demands and stipulations that have been made, they have found themselves at a tipping point where said management refuses to engage with the workers seriously. As such, the workers have made the decision to go public with what has been happening at the studio, the issues they’ve faced, and the impact that it has had on the workers read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

Press Release

SIPTU calls on Taoiseach to intervene in Local Employment Services dispute (3 Dec) – SIPTU representatives have called on the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, to directly intervene in a dispute concerning Local Employment Services (LES) following the publication of a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which found that their privatisation does not deliver “value for money” read more

Pay proposals accepted by union members in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (2 Dec) – SIPTU and the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) have today (Thursday, 2nd December) confirmed that union members working in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) have accepted new pay proposals by an overwhelming majority. The agreement, which will run until September 2024, provides for an annual 2.5% increase on basic pay for all staff earning less than €100,000 with a minimum payment of €1,500 in the first year. The first phase of the increases, which is retrospective to 1st October 2021, will be paid this month read more

SIPTU members in Local Employment Services in county Offaly announce industrial action – SIPTU members providing Local Employment Services (LES) in county Offaly have served notice of industrial action, which will commence on Monday, 6th December, in a dispute resulting from the government terminating its contract with the local community sector companies who employ them read more

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

UNITE the union has announced a more independent investigation into union official’s collusion in blacklisting.

https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2021/december/unite-announces-beefed-up-qc-inquiry-into-blacklisting-collusion/

The following statement appears on the Blacklist Support Group Facebook page:

“Blacklisted workers have campaigned for an independent investigation into union collusion for a long time: too long. We have known for over a decade that some blacklist files record the names of senior union officials as the source of information that led to us being denied employment. Previous General Secretaries even met with Norman Tebbit to discuss the activities of union members. We know for a fact that some union officials emailed information about union activists to industrial relations consultants and managers working for major contractors up to their necks in blacklisting. This is totally unacceptable in a trade union movement that claims to be democratic and member led.

Every union activist in construction already knows who these people are. In many cases, Blacklist Support Group has already published their names. We are not accusing every union official of being corrupt, there are many honest value driven officials. But neither is this about ‘one or two bad apples’. Over many decades, the senior leadership of construction unions actively encouraged a business friendly model of trade unionism, where cultivating partnership arrangements with employers was often given priority over fighting for workers rights. Overly friendly relationships developed between union officials and managers, this is the context in which information detrimental to union members was being discussed.

Any investigation into potential collusion by union officials in blacklisting needs to fully investigate the entire UNITE electronic database and that of predecessor unions to get to the truth. For this to happen, those carrying out the search of the union databases need to be completely independent of the union itself. Blacklist Support Group therefore applaud the announcement that UNITE have created an oversight committee made of up blacklisted workers who will approve the appointment of an external legal team and a forensic evidence gathering consultant to oversee and carry out the searches of the union’s electronic databases. With this beefed up and more independent investigation, any lingering doubts about the independence of this investigation have now been removed. If evidence exists of collusion or inappropriate practices that led to the passing on of information about union members, any possible barriers should now have been removed. BSG encourage anyone who has any evidence relevant to the investigation to come forward ASAP and provide it to the independent legal experts”.

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg

Blacklist Support Group

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

 

International news

India: Bank workers intensify their struggle read more

 

 

The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.

You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]

We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN

But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in the Queens Speech in December 2019 and cannot be trusted and is now attacking the right to protest through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to finish but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown. But it’s clear that the Tories are looking to end it asap.

However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.

We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.

Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK

 

 

Diary

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE